We spent spring break earlier this month on the island of Guadeloupe for five days with no kids and it was glorious! Here’s the itinerary and lots of pictures of our first day! First Day in Guadeloupe
Our first day in Guadeloupe started early and ended late and let us enjoy some of the best the island has to offer.
To start, Guadeloupe is part of the French West Indies, a french Island in the Carribean. It’s one of two islands in the Carribean that, according to our research, is Zika free. We were traveling with friends from school who are pregnant and the four of us wanted to go somewhere warm when Ben came across Guadeloupe. We did a little research before we left but planned the majority of our trip on the four our flight from JFK to Point-a-pitre.
We arrived Saturday evening and headed straight to our hotel to enjoy a late dinner and crash. We woke up Sunday morning for our first full day in Guadeloupe and I’ve broken it all down and included way too many pictures. If you’re looking for tips on your own trip, keep reading!
First Stop: Sunday Morning LDS Church Service
Ben and I started our first day in Guadeloupe bright and early with a little adventure: finding the local LDS church. We flew in on Saturday evening and had dinner at the hotel so this was our first venture out and our first time seeing Guadeloupe in the daylight.
I had my phone for GPS (I paid $10 a day for a travel pass from Verizon to use my data internationally) and Ben wove through windy city roads for 12 minutes until we got to the small church building in Porte-a-Pitre.
We slipped in just as the meeting was starting and worked our way through french hymns with a local congregation of about 50. I caught snippets of the talks/sermons with my limited high school french and after about an hour, we declined the invitation to stay for Sunday School. But, my goodness! What a wonderful way to start a trip! I loved the chance to, for just an hour, be immersed in the lives of these island locals, to feel their faith, and just to watch them chat with each other as the meeting ended. We felt welcomed (and flattered that someone was so surprised we were Americans because they thought we looked very French ;).
Regroup at the Hotel
After church we went straight back to the hotel to meet up with friends who were just finishing up a leisurely breakfast on the terrace, overlooking the gorgeous pink flowers and the turquoise ocean.
Caravelle Beach (Club Med) in St. Annes
We changed into swimsuits, loaded up on sunscreen, and drove into St. Anne, the most popular beach town on the island. I’d read about the beautiful St Anne beaches, the queen of which was supposed to be Club Med’s Place Caravelle. Not interested in paying the $100 resort fee for the day, we parked along a side street and walked the back way onto the beach (the hotel owns the beach chairs, the main entrance, and then water toys, but they don’t own the beach and the public is welcome, just not through their property).
Parking + Getting There
We followed two young french guys who wandered to the left of the resort, down a small path lined with little beach restaurants that led us straight to the coast. We walked down the water line for 5 minutes or so before we got to the white sands of the beach in front of the Club Med beach chairs.
The sand was warm and the water clear and we spent the next few hours swimming, lounging, and walking. A woman tried to sell us “pina coladas” in little shot glasses for $9 and there was a place next to us to try kite surfing for a hefty fee. But we just watched and chatted and worked on our vitamin D deficiency.
Bokit Lunch next to the beach
After the boys completed a little workout and we found an American tourist to snap a photo for us (the only other Americans we ran into the whole week on the island), we made our way back down the beach to the side of the Club Med resort and stopped at one of the little open-air spots for lunch.
We paid cash at one window to a woman at a computer for 4 bokits, a local classic that is essentially a big sandwich filled with meat, cheese, or whatever you order.
Whatever you do, DON’T order the mint slushee (it tastes like toothpaste) but do yourself a favor and order the coconut ice cream. Until we tried some more later in the week, it was the best I’d tasted.
After a leisurely lunch and people watching, we headed back to work on our sleep deficit.
Dinner on the Gossier Pier
Dinner in France is always late, and Guadeloupe is no different. Nothing opens for dinner until 7 so around that time we made the seven minute drive down to the Gossier pier for dinner.
We didn’t know what to expect but found lots of open air restaurants. We chose a burger joint I’d read about, Byron’s Burgers, and hesitated at the 15 euro price point. We shouldn’t have.
We started with milkshakes and pina coladas (I recommend the milkshakes, not the pina coladas) and proceeded to enjoy (potentially) the best burgers I’ve ever had. They’re served with fries and three dipping sauces and I’m still kicking myself we didn’t go back a second time!
We ended the night with ice cream on our way back to the car (we just parked in the main square parking lot next to the pier) before making the short drive home.
Overall, a WONDERFUL first day! Here are a lot more pictures + commentary:
^beautiful, isn’t it?